Best Practice

Supporting autistic learners: 11 things to think about

Most teachers will have autistic students in their classrooms and will need to consider this when planning their lessons. SENCO Garry Freeman outlines 11 key strategies and approaches that have proven effective


Autistic spectrum condition (ASC) is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people.

ASC is the most common primary need among pupils with SEN Statements or Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), accounting for 29 per cent of EHCPs – 33 per cent of boys with an EHCP have autism as their primary need, and 18 per cent of girls (DfE, 2019). More than one in 100 people have autism according to data from the National Autistic Society

Students with ASC can often present with a trio of impairments around communication, interaction and imagination. This means that they can find it difficult to interpret facial expressions, hand gestures, body language and maintain eye contact.

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